The day has finally come when Dodge wants their Caliber SRT-4 back, and I have to admit that I am sad to see it go. I had just begun to find myself at home in the plush racing buckets racing through the gears of the Getrag transmission and the torque steer had turned into a fun predictable part of the turbocharged SRT-4 experience. However, like all good things my stint with this Mopar must come to an end.
Continued after the jump.
The Caliber SRT-4 is very well styled, from the vents in the hood to the diffuser out back this car had enough show to match the 285 HP worth of go and proved to be one of the best examples of affordable speed on the market today.
Caliber SRT-4 shoppers are in the market for a stylish and powerful compact for a fair price. The Caliber SRT-4 stacks up well against the competition; cars like the Japanese built Subaru Impreza WRX , Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and MazdaSpeed 3 , the American Chevrolet Cobalt SS and the German Volkswagen GTi . With the addition of an all wheel drive system like the WRX or Ralliart, the Caliber would be able to make better use of its boosted horses. The Caliber is handicapped by its 3000+ pound curb weight and because of this the Mazda outshines the Dodge as a more nimble machine. The German built hot hatch features a more refined interior, but comes at a higher price, and none of the competitors offer as much cargo capacity. Making nearly 300 HP at the front wheels and returning 28 miles per gallon on the highway, the Caliber is one tough car to beat.
There is something inherently wrong with turbo charging large displacement engines in American automobiles, but in the tradition of the Buick Grand National and the GMC Syclone the Caliber SRT-4 continues the tradition of automotive excess. If straight line speed is what you crave, this Dodge is just what you are looking for. Be careful, because you might end up becoming a little too friendly with local law enforcement.